The Gulf Research Center
Organize conference entitled:
The Gulf and Africa: Developing a New Strategic PartnershipFebruary 24-25, 2009
In addition to traditional partners like the United States and Europe and emerging relations with Asian countries, it is clear that the GCC states must also look further towards Africa as a future essential economic and political partner. Despite distinctive attributes that link GCC and African states, their relations are eventually viewed as asymmetrical and fluctuant. Economically, although investments and trade between both regions have been increasing, the existing economic ties are still restricted to certain industrial sectors such as extractive industry, telecommunications, tourism and real estate. Moreover, these activities are geographically limited to certain countries: not all African countries trade with GCC states and vice-versa. Politically speaking, some historical and cultural ties have ensured the existence of a relationship between some GCC member states and some African states. However, overall the relationship existing between the two regions remains weak. Beyond bilateral diplomatic relations, little is done by both sides to strengthen their regional power. It is with this realization in mind that this conference aims to cement the GCC-Africa relationship by offering an in-depth assessment of the status of ties and a clear outlook to where the relationship could be heading.
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